Brief run-in with Shaq highlights pregame frenzy

Large, in charge: Shaquille O'Neal at Lucas Oil Stadium for Super Bowl XLVI (Marc Sessler/NFL)

INDIANAPOLIS — We’re on a slammed elevator from the NFL.com press box down to field level at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Mid-trip, we stop. Doors open. In walks Shaquille O’Neal.

Bigger than two doorways, he towers above all humans present but notices a friend.

“How’s it going, David Ely,” Shaq says to my NFL.com brother in arms.

Ely knows Shaq? What? I’m cycling through what little I know of Ely’s work history. Roughly three years removed from his college days at North Carolina, he’s held a variety of internships and nondescript jobs before starting with us. HOW DOES THIS GUY KNOW SHAQ?

“… I read your name tag,” Shaq says, before shaking Ely’s hand (Ely confirmed the retired NBA star has massive hands).

Door opens. Shaq Fu stays. We depart, snapping this rushed photo before winding down a cavernous hallway to the stadium lights beyond. What a moment.

– Marc Sessler

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